Bark River Restoration

Posted By: Brian Pehl Awards ,

2021 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firm: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
Client: City of Delafield

Bark River runs through downtown Delafield, an inviting asset with the potential to facilitate development and bring visitors. The river was not being used to its potential. An ugly water main ran across it and the entire stretch had become unkempt.

Short Elliott Hendrickson implemented the city’s vision for an inviting waterfront and moved to make that dream a reality. The design team worked closely with an existing waterway volunteer group. Short Elliott Hendrickson used an environmentally friendly method to bury the water main without disrupting the local ecosystem. They also expanded the local trail system to run along the waterfront and improved the entire experience. Accessibility was a top concern; an ADA-compliant canoe/kayak launch was installed too.

A critical component was purchasing and demolishing an abandoned structure. This house was a major eyesore and locked up valuable river real estate. By removing it, the design team was able to add a small park so more people can enjoy the waterfront. It serves as a gathering point for the downtown and the riverfront.

The improvements bring visitors and residents to enjoy the riverfront and the surrounding downtown. Delafield now has an asset in its downtown to work with in the future.

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